Friday, September 18, 2009

give me that old fashioned morphine

It is raining in Memphis and it has been all week. We go through a monsoon at least once a season it seems, which is generally OK. I remember the draught that threatened to dry up my mom's spring in 2007, and as a daughter of the rural South, I know that rain is a good thing, but this dump of precipitation is threatening the Cooper Young festival tomorrow, so for now, I say "RAIN! Go! Away!" so that I can stroll around drinking beer out of a plastic cup and looking at arts & crafts which I probably won't buy. I am not completely broke as a joke, but seeing as how I just got a half check the last two pay periods, I will be coasting on fumes as the month runs out. Boy, I hate that. That is what leaving work for two weeks to see cool shit will do to you.

Paychecks. With the same regularity of Memphis monsoons, I experience a crushing disappointment in myself quarterly with this fucking job I hate. I go to work and come home & go to work and come home & go to work and then come home unable to smile or laugh one day. Then I lament loudly, in a really boring fashion, about how much it SUCKS, how STUPID I am to have gotten myself into this position, WHAT ON EARTH will ever change, how I have NO SKILLS, etc. etc. etc. Usually by the next day it is gone, because, well, what's the point.

All of this is accompanied by Brandon's insistance that we don't have to keep doing any of this. We don't have to have an apartment, I don't have to have a 9-5 job; we don't have to live or stay anywhere for longer than we want to. We've seen enough of the world and people thriving in it leading unconventional lives to know that it works. We have this bundle of money in the bank that sits and waits for us to do something with it, and over the last six months we have made all sorts of different plans for it. I am terrified of doing anything; I am terrified of doing nothing.

A few months ago we were going to have a baby, and now we are not, and I can't say that I don't think about it every day. I think about it when I see a fat pregnant stomach; I think about it when I interview women who, in this city where the infant mortality rate is absolutely stunning, have managed to push out 2 or 4 or even 6 babies under a banner of poverty & stress. I wonder why & when & how, and then I just sit quietly with it all. I don't feel depressed by it, I don't get in a really sad mood about it, it's just always there, reminding me that I won't have something that I thought I would.

So I think about having a baby; I think about buying a house in this city that I do really love. I think about putting all our stuff in storage and cutting the strings for awhile. I think about moving to the field behind my mother's house and planting a really huge garden and living out of a camper. And I think and I think and I think...

And then I get up, walk the dog, take a shower & come to work again.


Shane said...

I think about moving to a trailer on Spring River at least once a week.
I think about living in a tent city about once a month.
I think about saving for six months and then leaving everything behind to ride trains and getting arrested for vagrancy.
I think about visitng every Love's Truck stop.
I can't do any of it.

TennesseeDrew said...

It is interesting to think about how much stuff (including shelter) we really need. I think of all the people who spend way too much money on a large house, with rooms they don't even go into, just to keep up with the Joneses.
I think you and Brandon have a good sense of perspective and that money in the bank will serve you well in the future. For now, just keep doing your anti-rain dance for the festival.
I look forward to toast with beer in cheap plastic cups this weekend.

Wendy said...

I know, honey. I feel the same way in many respects. That's the majority of the reason I got this Master's degree...because it was career-specific.

Now as I embark on applying to admin. jobs again, I feel a big ol' sense of defeat. I'd almost not want to work again than to have to go back to being a secretary...but being a teacher doesn't sound so great anymore either.

I wonder how some people seem to come out of the womb with some grand vision for themselves and they make good careers for themselves. I do believe they're out there: jobs I could love that make a difference, but I sure as hell can't think of one or I'm too scared to go after it. I feel like I can't pursue another degree b.c. it just reveals how aimless I am.

I dunno. Going back to work frightens me because of the very same emotions you've just described.

I feel ya, darlin'.

Bette said...

I have felt this way every other month for the last five years or so, but I think it gets better--for everyone, that is. Thank god your rambling souls have one another.

jan said...

I agree and empathize and relate with every goddamn thing you just said.


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